Black Writer to Dad: 'I'm Queer; Deal With It'

In honor of LGBT Pride Month, Kai Wright tells his coming-out story to NPR.

Kai Wright (Jedd Flenscha)

In honor of LGBT Pride Month, NPR's Tell Me More has invited friends of the show to share their stories of coming out to those closest to them. ColorLines editor Kai Wright, whose writing explores the politics of sex, race and health, weighed in about his admittedly "self-righteous" announcement to his "hypereducated" father -- and how his dad's perspective continues to define his identity today.

Read some excerpts here:

I figured there were a few ways I could come out to my family. There was the apologetic route: "Sorry, I know this is hard for you, but ... " There was the casual, minimizing approach: "Oh, by the way, I'm gay, whatever, it's not a big thing." And then, of course, there was self-righteous indignation: "I'm here, I'm queer, and you should just deal with it!"

I went with self-righteous.

I began with a combative letter to my father, an unnecessarily hostile missive that has been mercifully lost to history. His response has, however, survived. My father -- a hyper-educated man who loathed being caught off his intellectual guard -- met my indignation with a torrent of, well, really useful information. He advised me to read James Baldwin's novel Just Above My Head.

"It's the only book," Dad wrote, "I have ever bothered to read which depicts gay love in the same way that heterosexual love is depicted." ...

But most usefully, Dad articulated a perspective that continues to define my out, proud sexual identity today ...

Source: NPR.

Read more and listen at NPR.

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